New Device Helps Smallest Hearts

Heart tool specifically for babies and toddlers.

An area toddler, born with severe heart and lung problems is now slated to undergo a procedure next month to improve her condition.

It could also give two-and-a-half year old Gracie Covert from Shirleysburg, Huntingdon County, more time before she must have a heart and lung transplant. Several hospitals refused to take Gracie's case, but Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio has begun treating her.

Meantime, some doctors say a new device   could improve the chances for  children in situations similar to Gracie's. Doctor Alex Golden is the first pediatric cardiologist in the country to use a new approved catheter  for kids.  He says it's 20% smaller than the smallest one used previously. Using adult-sized catheters , doctors can damage access vessels in a baby or young child's groin and cause a blockage.

The new catheter is the first in the United States to be approved specifically for children. Dr Golden practices at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.

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